For my own Monument

AS doctors give physic by way of prevention,
  Mat, alive and in health, of his tombstone took care;
For delays are unsafe, and his pious intention
  May haply be never fulfill'd by his heir.

Then take Mat's word for it, the sculptor is paid;
  That the figure is fine, pray believe your own eye;
Yet credit but lightly what more may be said,
  For we flatter ourselves, and teach marble to lie.

Yet counting as far as to fifty his years,
  His virtues and vices were as other men's are;
High hopes he conceived, and he smother'd great fears,
  In a life parti-colour'd, half pleasure, half care.

Nor to business a drudge, nor to faction a slave,
  He strove to make int'rest and freedom agree;
In public employments industrious and grave,
  And alone with his friends, Lord! how merry was he!

Now in equipage stately, now humbly on foot,
  Both fortunes he tried, but to neither would trust;
And whirl'd in the round as the wheel turn'd about,
  He found riches had wings, and knew man was but dust.

This verse, little polish'd, tho' mighty sincere,
  Sets neither his titles nor merit to view;
It says that his relics collected lie here,
  And no mortal yet knows too if this may be true.

Fierce robbers there are that infest the highway,
  So Mat may be kill'd, and his bones never found;
False witness at court, and fierce tempests at sea,
  So Mat may yet chance to be hang'd or be drown'd.

If his bones lie in earth, roll in sea, fly in air,
  To Fate we must yield, and the thing is the same;
And if passing thou giv'st him a smile or a tear,
  He cares not--yet, prithee, be kind to his fame.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
83 Views

Matthew Prior

Matthew Prior was an English poet and diplomat. more…

All Matthew Prior poems | Matthew Prior Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this Matthew Prior poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"For my own Monument" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/27367/for-my-own-monument>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.